The Guardian are reporting that Leicester City are to continue their considerable summer spending spree by signing Manchester City starlet Kelechi Iheanacho.
The Foxes have had a busy start to the summer after appointing caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare on a permanent basis and investing a combined £29 million on two new arrivals. Hull City defender Harry Maguire joined the club at the start of the window whilst Vicente Iborra completed his move from Sevilla earlier this week, but the club have signaled that more signings are expected.
Leicester are keen to avoid a repeat of the previous campaign where, despite a successful run in the Champions League, the club were sucked into the fringes of a relegation battle in the Premier League. Poor performances and results on the domestic front cost Claudio Ranieri his job and his replacement, Craig Shakespeare, is determined to drastically improve the current squad.
The Foxes are now preparing to take their summer spending past the £50 million mark by negotiating a £25 million deal for Manchester City striker Iheanacho who has seen a promising start to his fledgling career slowly peter out.
A victim of success and wealth
Kelechi Iheanacho has been one of the young victims of Manchester City’s success and new-found wealth.
Despite scoring 21 goals in 64 appearances, with more than half coming from the bench, the 20-year-old has found his path into the first team continually blocked by star names and new big-money signings.
Last season he started just five Premier League matches, having to be content to play second-fiddle to Sergio Aguero whilst his hopes of earning more game time were handed another setback following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus in January.
Although the Nigerian remains highly-rated at the Etihad Stadium there is an acceptance amongst the player, management and club that a move would be beneficial for all parties.
In August Iheanacho signed a new contract until 2021 with Manchester City, meaning that the club are looking to receive £25 million from any potential deal and insist that a buy-back clause is also included. Leicester are willing to meet that figure although they may face competition from other Premier League rivals, with West Ham United also reportedly interested in a move for the Nigerian.
The 20-year-old will certainly not be short of potential suitors with his athleticism, goal scoring record and already considerable playing experience making him an attractive proposition for a host of top-flight clubs.
Leicester lead the chase
The Guardian claim that Leicester City are leading the race to sign Kelechi Iheanacho and will have no hesitation in investing in a player that they consider to have an abundance of potential.
At 20 years of age the Nigerian still has plenty of time to development and refine his existing talent, whilst his performances for Manchester City suggest that he is more than capable of making an immediate impact at a Premier League club. Iheanacho is similar in build to Marcus Rashford and possesses the same fierce pace, power and youthful exuberance that the England star retains.
However, his goal scoring record is vastly superior with statistics suggesting that he is directly involved in a goal every 74.9 minutes. He is an instinctive poacher inside the eighteen yard box and is a natural goal scorer – something that an abundance of clubs from across Europe will be attracted by.
Leicester will be hoping that the potential arrival of Iheanacho will ease the pressure on Jamie Vardy who has shouldered the goal scoring responsibility over the previous two years.
Whilst Shinji Okazaki acts as a useful foil and link-up player he lacks a clinical edge in front of goal whilst Islam Slimani has failed to settle since his arrival last summer. Leonardo Ullao remains on the club’s books but his future remains uncertain with youngster Tom Lawrence being the club’s only other recognised striker.
The signing of Manchester City’s proven goal scorer would only be a positive move for The Foxes.
Featured image all rights reserved Ododo George.